This is the new 2021 kia k5, and it is the cool new midsize sedan. This may come as a bit of a surprise, because the word cool, doesn’t usually go with the words midsize sedan. But this car made a huge splash when it was revealed only a few weeks ago, because it looks pretty damn cool for a midsize sedan and i got a ton of requests to review it.
So today i’m, going to do just that before i get started, be sure to check out cars and bids, which is my new online enthusiast car auction website for modern cool cars. If you’re looking to sell a cool car from the modern era, the 80s 90s and up, you will get the most money on cars and bids.
And if you’re looking to buy a cool car from the modern era check out cars and bids where we have live auctions of cool cars happening all the time check it out at carsandbids.com, i’ll start off the k5, with A little overview, this is kia’s, new midsize sedan, and it replaces the kia optima.
Now this is a big deal, because the optima has been on sale since 2001, 20 years of kia building up the optima name and making sure we all know what the optima is only to just suddenly replace it with a random letter.
Number combination does that sound familiar truthfully, though this renaming is probably a smart idea. It’s, no secret that mid-sized sedans are dying cars in general, really so kia decided to give its midsize sedan a shock that would grab attention and maybe spur sails.
So optima is out, k5 is in, and i mean look at this car. The optima was always an attractive car, but this looks far more expensive and luxurious and special than it is considering that it’s. A midsize sedan with a starting price of around 25 000 beyond the styling.
A few other details right now. The k5 is only offered with a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes about 190 horsepower, but a gt version is coming soon, with a larger, more powerful turbo four-cylinder.
That makes about 300 horsepower, which is pretty impressive, and i’m sure they’ll have some sort of plug-in, hybrid or ev version coming as well, because everyone does that now, like i said, prices start around 25 000, although this top Of the line ex model is closer to 32 000.
It’s, the most expensive one you can get at least until the gt arrives, and today i’m going to review it. First, i’m, going to take you on a tour of the k5 and i’m, going to show you all of the interesting quirks and features of the newest kia.
Then i’m, going to get it out on the road and drive it and then i’ll. Give it a dug score all right. I’m, going to start the quirks and features of the k5 by discussing probably its best feature of all, and that would be the styling.
This car has gotten a lot of praise very quickly for how it looks, and it is a really nice. Looking car a very sleek, attractive, mid-size sedan, like i said, looks a lot more expensive than it is considering.
It has a starting price of around 25 000. This is most likely the best looking entrant into the midsize sedan world right now and frankly, i think it makes the others a cord camry, whatever just look dull or over styled or frankly, not as attractive by comparison on the note of styling two items, i want To point out about the styling of this car one is, you can see the back end slopes down.
This is the new trend it doesn’t, really look like a sedan with a distinctive trunk. Instead, it almost looks kind of like a hatchback. Basically, everyone is doing this now, making their sedans look like those bmw, hatchbacky things.
There are two reasons for this one. It looks sleek it looks coopy. This is the trend, another it’s a benefit for fuel economy. If you don & # 39, t end the rear window so abruptly right before the trunk and instead kind of continue one streamlined line down the car.
It gives you better aerodynamics and slightly better gas mileage that’s. Why all teslas and other electric vehicles tend to be shaped this way with that said, one drawback i do find with the styling is in the front.
I think the grille is a little big or actually a lot big. It wraps around the entire front. End of the car, with this kind of patterned design in there going over to the side below the headlights everywhere.
Basically, it’s, a large grill, maybe a little too large, and it’s kind of the only demerit in terms of styling for the k5, at least in my opinion, with that said, since we’re talking front, let’s, talk about one of the most eye-catching aspects of the front end of this car.
That would be the turn signal shape. Look at this. It’s like this zigzag line. When you put on the turn, signals looks very distinctive, very different from every other car and it is absolutely sure to grab attention when you’re just sitting at a stop light.
That is a cool way to do turn signals, but in terms of lighting, this car has an even cooler design. That would be the tail lights and back you turn the headlights on this is how the tail lights light up with these little dots in the light bar a lot of automakers are going for, like a full light bar across the back.
Kia was like forget that that’s too common. Now we’re, going to do these little dots throughout and it looks again very distinctive, very interesting and it kind of helps draw attention to the k5 since it certainly doesn’t, look like any other car, but anyway.
Next, we move on to the interior of the k5. I want to start actually with getting in and with the key. I like the fact that the lock button on the key is sort of on the side at an angle. So when you press lock, it feels like you’re, pressing, a detonator.
I have this same key fob in my kia stinger and even though i can walk up to the door and just tap it to lock the door. I love pressing that lock button because it feels cool like i’m detonating the locks on the car.
Sometimes i just press it for fun when i’m, not even near the car but anyway. Next, we climb into the k5, and you can see that on the door panel, this black piece kind of curves up around the window switches.
So what exactly is that about? Well, you can see the door pull is kind of far back a little hard to reach. If you’re trying to close the door, so i guess you’re supposed to pull this to close the door, which is a nifty idea to make it a little bit easier to get in close the door and get going.
It’s, a smart thing to have that little raised surface there and next up when you get in this interior and look around you can tell instantly this is a nice place to be fairly nice, a lot of nice materials everywhere, although it doesn’t quite match.
The really nice looks of the exterior. I’m, going to show you what i mean. First off, there are some very nice materials. Like i said you have. This beautiful wood trim on the dashboard looks great continues onto the door.
Panel really looks nice. You also have aluminum trim kind of all throughout all that stuff looks really good, but there are some places where they clearly skimped. For one thing, the gear lever itself just looks tacky.
This like raised up thing with a button. At the end, it’s, all plastic, just doesn’t, really look that good same deal with the center of the steering wheel. Again kind of tacky, especially considering the rest of it, is leather wrapped, but the middle just looks like cheap plastic and same deal with some buttons and switches throughout.
There are some nice looking buttons with sort of a piano black trim like for the climate control, but there’s, also, some kind of cheap and tacky buttons that really just don’t. Look all that good, mostly though it’s, really nice in here and frankly, for 32 000, a little over, which is what this car costs.
I think this is a really really nice interior, quite impressive. I would just change that gear lever with that said. One luxury touch you do have in here is the map lights. This car has little tappy map lights.
You just have to tap the light and they turn on tap again. They turn off on off on off. You don’t have to push a button or a switch. Instead, you just tap the light feels luxurious. This car also has heated and cooled front seats, which is, of course, very nice.
They are controlled by this rather odd switch in the center console. You push it up for heated seats, you push it down for cooled seats, not buttons in this car. Instead, you have this sort of back and forth switch and next to that little switch for the heated and cooled seats.
You have your wireless phone charger. You can stick your phone in this little hole here and it will charge your phone wirelessly, which is, of course, nice. The odd thing here is that, next to the charger, it says, pull.
In other words, you have to pull out your phone well yeah. Of course you do, what is the other option? I don’t think that’s really necessary to have on there, but nonetheless, it says, pull in case you’re, pushing to try to get your phone out of here and next up.
We move on to the center control stack and the infotainment system. You have this large screen, which is protruding from the dashboard and tilted towards the driver. This is an impressive screen in terms of size, especially for a mid-size sedan in the 30 thousand dollar range.
Although i have noticed it’s, a little bit laggy, specifically, if you’re, pressing the little icons over on the side of the screen, the ones that are fixed in place just takes a second to respond to your commands, which is Kind of surprising, because this is a relatively new system for kia – you’d – think it would be incredibly responsive, but it just isn’t quite as responsive as you might hope.
Now, with that said, there are some interesting quirks in this infotainment system like, for example, you go to select your source and you have bluetooth or the radio or sounds of nature. You can choose that and then listen to nature sounds that come pre-installed in the car.
So you can listen to those while driving instead of music. So what are the sounds of nature? Well, for instance, you have a rainy day which sounds like this or you have an open-air cafe, which doesn & # 39.
T really seem like a sound of nature, but anyway it sounds like this [ Music ] or you have my favorite, a snowy village. What does a snowy village sound like exactly well take a listen that actually just sounds like a person walking through the snow.
I don’t know where the village comes in really. It sounds like that last scene, in the shining where jack torrance has got an axe and he’s, trying to find wendy and his son and kill them. But if you want to listen to someone walking through snow, you have that option in your new k5 by the way, one other cool thing i like in the infotainment system, check out this cool display for the radio that’s, showing what radio station You’re on you can see it shows it in this like old school way and when you change it still shows the numbers in this way.
I think this is a really cool thing kind of a gimmick, but why not make these infotainment screens a little more interesting and exciting? This is a neat way to do it and next up speaking of screens, move into the gauge cluster, and you can see, you only have a small screen in the middle here.
This car kind of bucks, the recent trend of full gauge cluster screens, but it makes sense for a vehicle at this price point not to have a full screen with that said, i wish it at least had those blind spot cameras, like other kias, where you put On your turn signal, and it shows you what’s in your blind spot.
That is a fantastic feature and i feel like it should be on the top of the line version of kia’s, midsize sedan. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It’s such a great idea. They should be integrated again into more cars now one interesting item in that gauge cluster screen.
If you leave the cart sitting and idling for a while, eventually a message, pops up that lets, you know the car will be automatically turning itself off in 30 minutes. I guess this is to prevent you from accidentally just leaving it running and completely depleting.
Your fuel seems odd, but maybe someone might do that if they’re, not very bright and next up one other notable item in this interior. The climate controls are not integrated into the infotainment system, so you can easily adjust the climate controls without having to go through various infotainment menus.
This is generally people’s. Preference. They’d, rather have real buttons for climate control, since they’re being used so often and one interesting item with the climate controls. If you press auto to turn on automatic climate control, you can see three lights light up.
That’s, letting you know it’s in high automatic mode. If you press it again, two lights are lit, then you’re in medium press, it a third time and it’s low. This way, even if you’re in automatic climate control and you have a desired temperature set, you can control how much fan speed is blowing out the vents a lot of times.
You’re in automatic climate control and it will just blow high intensity air until it gets to your desired temperature. Well, here’s, a rare car that gives you the chance to lower the air intensity if you want, but still maintain an automatic temperature.
A lot of people will think this is a nothing feature and who cares, but some people will absolutely go crazy for this. Yes, i finally have this and you do in the k5 and next we move on to the back seat in the k5, which, as you can see, is nice and roomy.
This is a good midsize sedan. You could use it as a family sedan, like people used to do in the days before the crossover one interesting item back here. You still have that little raised portion on the door panel to make it easier for you to close your dooring, put your hand there and just close it a nice feature even extended to the rear seat, passengers and speaking of the rear seat passengers pretty much everything Back here is exactly what you’d, expect you have your little climate control vents the back of the front center console to blow air around back here.
You also have two charge ports right below the climate, control vents, no real, surprise in the back seat and if you fold down the center armrest, you have two cup holders again, no real surprise in the back seat.
This is a fairly typical back seat in a fairly typical mid-size sedan, except it is, i would say, exceptionally roomy nice to spend time back here with that said, one disappointing item to mention back here in the back.
You do not have the cool tappy lights, like you do in the front. Instead, you have to press a button to turn on the map, light very disappointing, nowhere near as cool and luxurious as the front seat, passengers and their map lights and next up.
Moving on to the trunk in the k5 a couple of ways to get into the trunk one, there’s, a button on the key fob there’s, also a button to the left of the steering wheel inside or you just tap. This button back here and then it pops open and you can see it – is a trunk.
Nothing special, nothing, unusual, nothing, exciting back here, simply a cargo area. Now, when you close the trunk, you are greeted by the k5 badge, which is a little interesting to me. I personally like cars to have names especially kind of mainstream brand cars like kia, ford, hyundai subaru.
I get why the luxury brands do their numbers because they think it’s classy, but people like their optima. They, like their kia soul and i don & # 39. T, necessarily think that switching to letters numbers is really the right move, but it will inspire people to take a new look at this car.
Oh it’s, not the optima. It’s the k5. I just hope that the letter number thing doesn’t necessarily go throughout the entire kia lineup. Frankly, i think names are just a little better and plus. I remember when the k5 used to look like this.
It was very different than the kia k5, it had a big v8 and let’s just say it. Didn’t play, sounds of nature from the infotainment screen and finally, we get under the hood. You can see the engine like i mentioned, turbocharged four-cylinder, pretty small engine about 180 horsepower, not really anything special going on here, but they will be coming out with a kia k5 gt which, like i said, will have a larger turbo four-cylinder with about 300 horsepower, which Is a pretty potent figure for a vehicle in this size class and by the way, one item worth noting with the engine this isn’t just a turbo engine.
You can see it is a smart stream g turbo. I love it when they print stuff, like that on there, as if it’s relevant to anybody except the people who make this car. I got a smart stream g and this is proofs, and so those are the quirks and features of the 2021 kia k5.
Now it’s time to get it out on the road and see how it drives all right, driving the kia k5. This car is cool, it looks cool it’s got cool tech. It is a neat midsize sedan. A couple of things worth mentioning right off the bat number one.
The interior is not as cool as the exterior. If you buy this car because you think it looks cool and it’s, going to look neat everywhere and you park it at a club and people are going to think you have bmw.
Anybody who gets in here is not going to really be all that impressed. It looks like a nice kia interior, which is what it is. The exterior looks like something different, but not the interior. As for the driving experience, i’ve been driving around a little bit.
I mean this. Car has 180 190 horsepower whatever it is, that’s, not that much for a mid-size sedan. Ultimately, it looks cooler than it is now they are going to come out with the gt version, but that will not, by any stretch of the imagination, be the most popular version of this car, this engine, the uh 1.
6 turbo. I think it is 180 horses. This is going to be the motor that pretty much everyone ends up getting uh it’s, just the most reasonable. It’s in the most models it’s most recently priced and fuel economy is going to be strongest, and so this is the powertrain and it’s, just not all that exciting.
So if you buy this car because it looks cool on the outside and you’re thinking, the interior, the driving experience going to match it, doesn’t really now that’s, not to say it’s, Not fine, like i said the interior is nice.
The driving experience is perfectly acceptable in this car um. There’s, some road noise, mostly from the tires, but it’s, really not all that bad. It’s, good visibility. It’s, a nice comfortable ride it’s, a nice comfortable seat.
Acceleration is fine, nothing crazy or special, but it works uh there’s. Nothing bad about this car at all. It’s, just that the exterior is a standout and the rest of the car is just kind of normal mid-sized sedan.
But with that said, midsize sedans have improved so much in the last few years. That’s, not even really that bad of a thing anyway. This is a good car, very competitive with a slightly you know, better design than normal, and you get the kia warranty, which is, you know, 10 years 100 000 miles for powertrain, which is the most important part um to me.
There’s. A lot of appealing things about this car pricing is another one, but i was expecting like to be blown away given how nice it looked when they first started off and really it’s, just kind of mid-sized sedany for better or worse again, good Car, just not necessarily as good as maybe the looks suggest, but ultimately, if you still want to try to use a midsize sedan instead of a crossover, i do recommend this one.
It’s kind of a crazy thing. Um. The crossover is just completely taken over. You know when i was a kid my dad had a sedan and took us around in a sedan. That was what it was. It was a cameron, um and, and just the idea of dad’s, doing that now at mom’s, it doesn’t.
It’s. Not doesn’t happen. All that often um most people are just buying crossovers small midsize luxury. It doesn’t matter, and so cars like this are kind of falling by the wayside, but this exists and it’s.
Appealing, if you want to do it – and i think this is kind of kia’s – last – ditch effort to try to bring some excitement back to this segment by creating a totally new design, giving it a new name, some new tech trying to make It maybe a little bit more appealing than just another optima, and so that’s, the 2021 kia k5, the midsize sedan, is definitely dying, but this may help rejuvenate it, at least for kia, at least for a little.
While this is an appealing car. It has a nice looking exterior, it has a nice interior, good technology and affordable pricing, and i think this will be a hit, or at least as much of a hit as a mid-size sedan can be in the age of the crossover anyway.
Now it’s time to give the k5 a doug score, starting with the weekend categories and styling. The k5 really does look nice for a midsize sedan. The front end could use a little bit less grille, but otherwise it’s.
Handsome and it gets a 6 out of 10. acceleration, it’s, not really fast at all. I wouldn’t, call it slow, but it’s, certainly not quick. It gets a one out of ten handling is average for a mid-size sedan and it gets a four out of ten fun factor is low.
There’s, not much fun to this, and it gets a one out of ten same deal with cool factor. You won & # 39, t really be pointing these out on the road, and it gets a 1 out of 10 for a total weekend score of 13 out of 50.
next up are the daily categories and features. This is highly well equipped, and it even has auto steering and it gets an 8 out of 10. comfort is normal for a sedan like this, and it gets a 6 out of 10.
. Quality is fine, it’s. Nice inside and reliability is good, but it’s, certainly no lexus in either area it does respectably well, nonetheless, with a 7 out of 10.. Practicality is normal for a midsize sedan and it gets a 6 out of 10.
finally value, and this is a good one. It has a lot of tech and features and gorgeous styling for a very reasonable price, and it gets a 7 out of 10 for a total daily score of 34 out of 50. added up in the doug.
Score is 47 out of 100, which places it here against the new hyundai sonata and a bunch of family suvs, because the sonata is pretty much the only other mainstream midsize sedan, i’ve tested. The k5 beats out the sonata by a point mainly due to the kia’s.
Much better looks, but both sedans lose out to the suvs. The sedans just can’t, match suv practicality, which is a big reason why people are choosing sedans less and less often . This is going to be the motor that basically, everyone ends up getting it’s, never happened before